Adjusting back to the United States and Seton Hall from your time abroad is an adventure all its own. As you reflect on your travel memories, there may be a period of transition including reverse culture shock. You might also be wondering about the next steps to take after your study abroad experience. Figuring out how to incorporate your time abroad into activities on campus and in your career development will assist your transition and keep your experience fresh.
You’ve had a life-changing experience abroad. Now that you are back, it’s time to inspire the next generation of Seton Hall students on how transformative study abroad can be.
Looking Back with #HallAbroad
The photos you took while studying abroad hold stories and memories that will last a lifetime. Share them with Seton Hall & the Office of International Programs by tagging any of your pictures with #HallAbroad on Instagram or through our Hall Abroad Submission Portal! OIP will be able to share your experiences with students interested in studying abroad during information sessions and display them at the International Center.
Hall Abroad Ambassadors
Want to reflect more about your experiences after studying abroad? Volunteering to be a Hall Abroad Ambassador is a great opportunity to share your travels with prospective study abroad students and the Seton Hall community.
- Be a current undergraduate of Seton Hall University
- Have participated in a study abroad program (faculty led program, exchange program, or third-party provider program)
- Be responsible and mature in representing the Office of International Programs and Seton Hall University
Responsibilities of Hall Abroad Ambassadors
- Inspire your fellow students to embark on their own study abroad adventure by engaging with them at info sessions, campus events, and class visits
- Help create study abroad awareness while serving as a resource to perspective study abroad students
- Attend at least three study abroad events or info sessions a semester
How do Hall Abroad Ambassadors benefit?
- Develop your public speaking and professional skills that will help your career with the opportunity to network with fellow students, faculty, university leadership and alumni
- Practice in organizing student-facing programming in the advancement of the Seton Hall community
- If you participate in at least three study abroad events a semester for two semesters, you will receive a Letter of Recommendation from the Office of International Programs and be invited to annual Hall Abroad Ambassadors Spring Gala.
Your study abroad experience has brought you not only valuable memories, but also an extensive set of skills from being in a new culture and environment. Incorporating this knowledge can help diversify your professional profile. Seton Hall’s Career Center advisors can help you identify and market the academic and interpersonal development you achieved during your time abroad. Reach out to the Career Center to get started.
Incorporating Study Abroad into Your Resume & Cover Letter
Having your experiences abroad on your resume will help you stand out as a candidate capable of adapting to new challenges and communicating with different individuals. Consider the various strengths and abilities you developed while living in your host country and how they could apply to different sections of your resume/profile, such as:
- Skills: Whether your skills were developed inside the classroom or through interactions with the local culture, build them into your resume to demonstrate your strengths. For example, if you learned a new language or developed intercultural communication skills, include those proficiencies on your resume.
- Experience: If you were involved on any internships, programs, or volunteer work in your host country, include them in this section with a brief list of your responsibilities and accomplishments.
- Education: Make sure to list where you studied abroad and the term of your program, including the name and location of the school, as well as any relevant coursework.
You may also want to include information about your study abroad program in your cover letter. Write about the relevant skills and experiences that apply to the position you are interested in and how they make you a suitable candidate.
Study Abroad & Your Job Interview
Employers may follow up on the transferable skills you mentioned in your resume or your cover letter during your interview. Remember that these skills are best demonstrated through specific examples. Be prepared to answer questions with relevant experiences from your time in your host country, including:
- How did your communication style change throughout the study abroad program?
- How did you adapt to the local culture and respond to new social interactions?
- What was an emergency or challenge you faced, and what was your response?
Returning home after making a new place out for yourself in your host country can be both jarring and relieving. You may find yourself experiencing reverse culture shock, or the "feelings (of surprise, disorientation, etc.) experienced when people return to their home country and find they do not fit in as they used to." You may find yourself with a different perspective towards your home country and its customs compared to the local culture of your host country.
Review the various stages of reverse culture shock you may experience, including:
- Disengagement with your host country ahead of your return to your home country. You may be distracted by the thought of returning home and finishing up your remaining plans for your time abroad.
- Euphoria towards reuniting with your support network and returning to your home culture and its various comforts. Students may experience this stage to varying degrees, with some students more eager to return home depending on how their study abroad experience went.
- Dampened euphoria may occur when you arrive in your home country. Feelings of frustration may dampen the euphoria you may have previously felt prior to your arrival, and you may be upset that those around you may not want to hear about your experiences in your host country.
- Settling into readjustment as you spend more time back in your home country and community. You may develop more clarity about your experiences in your host country and feel more productive in applying the practical and academic knowledge you developed while living abroad.
Common culture shock challenges include difficulty in finding people interested or willing to listen to your travels, a struggle to explain how your travels were, and a concern that you may be losing the knowledge and experiences from your time abroad. It may also be difficult to reconnect with your family and friends, as they may be taken aback by the changes to your behavior and perspectives.
To help you manage your reverse culture shock, consider:
- Incorporating some habits of your routine that you developed during your time abroad, surrounded by your host culture.
- Introducing your friends and family to your host culture, whether it be by sharing your photos or a meal you enjoyed during your travels.
- Keeping in contact with your study abroad program and the friends you made during your travels – third party program providers may offer alumni opportunities to further share your experiences.
While the transition back to your home community and to Seton Hall may be difficult, multiple opportunities on campus can help you reacclimate to your home culture while keeping in touch with the memories you made on your travels.
Seton Hall University promotes a culture of affirming the dignity of others and direct acts of faith through serving others. The Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE) aims to encourage these acts of service outside of the South Orange community through the Releasing the DOVEs Program. Click here for further information about DOVE and their international service projects.
Intern Abroad and International Study Projects
Students interested in further developing their intercultural communication and international experience may be interested in pursuing an internship abroad. Consult your faculty advisor about for-credit internships or international study projects available in your major.
Study Abroad Again
After studying abroad, students may find themselves eager to continue their studies in another study abroad program. Consider participating in a Faculty Led Program, an Exchange Program, or find a program through a Third-Party Provider.